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Budapest offers the Golden Reel at the 39th Hungarian Film Week

The 39th Hungarian Film Week was officially opened yesterday in Budapest. Just to have a touch of Hollywood, the Hollywoodo Band played the music at the opening reception.
This is the annual major film event in Hungary since 1969. The Week -- between January 29 – February 5 -- will present altogether 104 new works of which 18 full length features and 37 shorts and experimental films. In addition to the 33 documentaries 13 scientific and 3 creative - experimental documentaries will be showcased in Budapest. 18 full length feature films were selected to compete for the Golden Reel which serves as the main award of the Budapest contest for the first time. The feature line-up contains nine world premieres.

Films in Competition:

Róbert Alföldi - Tranquillity / Nyugalom - world premiere, first feature
Tamás Almási - Mario the Magician / Mário a varázsló - world premiere
Gábor Dettre - The Class / Tabló - world premiere
Anna Faur - Girls / Lányok - first feature
Benedek Fliegauf - Milky Way / Tejút
Attila Gigor - The Investigator / A nyomozó - world premiere, first feature
Szabolcs Hajdu - Off Hollywood
Róbert Koltai - The Train Keeps a Rollin’ / Megy a gőzös
Róbert Lakatos - Bahrtalo! Good Luck! / Bahrtalo! Jó szerencsét! - world premiere, first feature
Kornél Mundruczó - Delta - world premiere
Erik Novák - Nosedive / Zuhanórepülés - first feature
Béla Paczolay - The Adventurers / Kalandorok - world premiere, first feature
Elemér Ragályi - Without Mercy – In memory of P.D. / Nincs kegyelem – PD emlékére
György Szomjas - The Sun Street Boys / A Nap utcai fiúk
Attila Till - Panic / Pánik - world premiere, first feature
Péter Tímár - Casting / Casting minden
Szabolcs Tolnai - The Hourglass / Fövenyóra
Ferenc Török - Overnight

Here is an interview with Gábor Herendi, the President of the 39th Hungarian Film Week Organizers` Board.

Q : What is your credo as the new President of the Budapest Film Week Organizers` Board? What would you like to see as the outcome of the 39th Budapest Film Week?


Gábor Herendi: It is a great tradition that every year there is one week when the Hungarian film people can demonstrate to each other what they have done. We can also sit down at a table and discuss together all the problems we do not focus on during the year. So, this is a week when we deal with each other.

Q: How do you see, what is the message of the Film Week about the Hungarian Film, the Hungarian film production?

GH: In fact I want to see a message that the Hungarian film is alive and kicking. But the most important issue is that it is eager to become integrated into the European film production. I think we are at the beginning of all this and other Eastern-European countries perform better. If the Film Week will be the engine of this process, I do not know. However my definite intention and aim is to push the Hungarian Film to be an impressive part of the European filmmaking.

Q: This is the first year that there is a real main prize, „The Golden Reel”. Why it is important?

GH: I guess the idea of the prize is related to persons. Most probably the former presidents of the Budapest Film Week Organizers` Board did not consider the formal elements important. It is extremely challenging for the film people if they can put proudly something on their shelves which remind them about their success. So, I am sure that the new prize will give a satisfaction to the professionals.


Q: Don`t you think it`s a negative message that no opening film of the Week this year?

GH: There are only technical reasons for not having an opening film. I am really sorry for it. But the situation should draw our attention to the fact that there is no real Festival Palace in Budapest which could host our Film Week. Until now, we always organized the Week at the Budapest Convention Center. The quality of the sound at the screening was bad enough, but at least we had a convenient place. Not this year. This situation should be addressed in the future.

Q: Are there any changes concerning the feature films participating at the Week?

GH: There is a quantitive change. This year much more films were produced. I am not sure yet, what will be its influence on the quality. I know that the competition will be very strong in the documentary film category. It is higly interesting that a new category has been established: the „creative documentary feature film”. This is a result of Michael Moore`s Fahrenheit. Some 4 or 5 films are participating at this category but I am sure there will be a sharp increase in number next year.

Q: What other side events, international programs will be organized during the Film Week?

GH: In fact we want to make the Film Week itself international. This is originally a Hungarian event with no foreign films. We would simply like to see foreign film professionals and experts to come to Budapest in a big number. This requires always some comprimises from us. The Budapest Film Week is in the worst winter season and it is just before the world famous Berlin Film Festival. But this Week is extremely important for us. and this is the time when the most prominent foreign film experts make their tour to Berlin, Rotterdam, the major film festivals and they can put Budapest into their trip schedule. We offer some additional good programs for them – to visit the Hungarian Film Studios, to brief them on the promising Hungarian tax incentives in the film industry.


By Brigitta Bokor

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